Thursday, August 6, 2015
If you’re the kind of person who often gets criticized, reprimanded, or corrected, it can mean several things. It most likely means that you’re like the majority of us, so welcome to the club, but it may also be an indication that you hardly do much of anything. A fellow postal employee I once worked with, whenever something went wrong in our unit, was always quick to tell the boss: “It couldn’t possibly be me. After all, you’re always telling me that I don’t do anything.” On the other hand, if others seldom bring your errors and faults to your attention, it could mean that you do most things well and always treat people with love, kindness and respect. It’s more likely, however, that others hesitate to point out your faults because of fear. However, its not so much that they fear you, they just fear that their efforts will get them nowhere. It is likely that you have built a reputation for yourself because you have been known to get defensive, go on attack mode yourself, or else you have ignored those who have tried. I can’t speak for all pastors, but I already have a list of members I will no longer try to correct, except when its absolutely necessary. And its not because I fear any of them; I’ve just concluded that they can’t take it.
Some folks relish in the belief that other people fear them, thinking it is a good thing. It is not! If people really fear you, shame on you. That certainly is not representative of Christ nor one of His true servants. 2 Timothy 2:24 says: “And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” If others fearing you means anything, it is that you are not living a Christ honoring life.
If anyone tells you they like it when others criticize, correct, or reprimand them, I suspect they are not being totally honest. When our errors and faults are brought into question, none of us likes it and we need God’s grace to be able to take it well, especially at the onset. Hebrews 12:11 says: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace1 for those who have been trained by it.” Because our old nature is still within us, more likely sooner than later we are going to do or say something that will make us prime candidates for someone’s correction. Even if we are living a God honoring life, our usage of phrases such as “I’m sorry” or “forgive me” should be common. I confess that when someone corrects me, it stings a little. The truth is that it hurts me just as much whenever I need to correct others. Nevertheless, lets not be overly shocked when others reprimand us; it will happen. When it does, however, lets immediately ask the Lord for the grace to take it well. How about it, can you take it?
Memory verse for the week: Philippians 3:8 “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing1 Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”